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Cognizant To Acquire Fast-Growing Niche Player Bolder Healthcare Solutions

Bolder Healthcare Solutions specializes in delivering revenue cycle management solutions to hospitals, physicians' offices and other health-care organizations.

Professional services powerhouse Cognizant moved to tighten its grip on the health-care space Monday, unveiling plans to acquire Louisville, Ky.-based Bolder Healthcare Solutions (BHS) for an undisclosed amount.

BHS, billed as "one of the fastest-growing" players in its market, specializes in delivering revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions to hospitals, physicians' offices and other health-care organizations. The business employs more than 1,500 people in the U.S. and India and is the parent company of multiple RCM providers.

The deal will allow Teaneck, N.J.-based Cognizant, No. 7 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, to pursue more business from the U.S. health-care market's largest providers and expand the range of data analytics, cognitive computing and robotic process automation solutions offered by its health-care practice, the company said.

[Related: Shifts In Healthcare Market 'Play To Our Strengths,' Says Cognizant CEO D'Souza ]

"As the health-care industry continues to undergo significant transformation to a value-based care model, digital RCM services and solutions remove complexity and allow providers to streamline their operations," Kaushik Bhaumik, executive vice president and global head of health-care at Cognizant, said in a statement. "High-quality RCM solutions help providers achieve efficient management of their business, while placing more of their focus on the quality of patient care."

Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, were not immediately made available. Cognizant stock was up $1.49 per share (1.79 percent) in pre-market trading Monday morning.

Under the umbrella of its RCM expertise, BHS provides services that include insurance billing, legacy accounts receivable management, debt collection and Medicaid eligibility enrollment. The company itself acquired a fellow health-care RCM provider, Business Dynamics, in January 2017.

"By joining forces with Cognizant, we will have many new tools that will be a catalyst for future growth," BHS CEO Michael Shea said in prepared remarks. "The increased capabilities will allow Bolder to continue to be on the cutting edge of provider RCM, and this forward-looking combination will create new opportunities for Cognizant."

Despite continued uncertainty surrounding U.S. health-care policy – the subject of political scrutiny for many months – Cognizant CEO Frank D'Souza said that change "plays to our strengths" during the company's third fiscal quarter earnings call in November. He had cited Cognizant's intellectual property, software and personnel strengths as key drivers for its health-care business segment.

"As the market changes and evolves, we have a very strong end-to-end portfolio of services, whether that's consulting to help our clients figure out what they need to do to respond to the changes, operating in terms of our [Business Process-as-a-Service] offerings or whether that's on the technology front as they think about modernizing," Souza said.

Cognizant's last acquisition came in October, when the company bought Zurich-based marketing solutions specialist Netcentric to broaden its interactive and digital marketing services.

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